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Quebec Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, said Thursday he was willing to “look at all the different solutions” to plug the gaps in the compensation system for victims of criminal acts, 'IVAC. He then returned to his remarks to clarify that he did not intend to modify his law.

The minister also committed to speaking with victims who are deeply outraged by the new law. “Most certainly, I will meet them,” he said at the Salon bleu.

In the morning, Le Devoir told the anger of two mothers of murdered children and a man tortured by his father. Amélie Lemieux, Émilie Arsenault and Guillaume Gosselin are all three affected by the IVAC reform carried out in 2021. This notably puts an end to the assistance offered to victims after three years, which is currently causing a shock wave in people who have suffered criminal acts.

“It shocks me, because not so long ago, [in 2021], we were studying the reform of the IVAC. I was in front of Minister Jolin-Barrette, and we told him precisely what was going to happen. We told him that it was not possible to set a deadline for the recovery of the victims, that it would create distress,” said MP Christine Labrie, of Québec solidaire.

She led the charge at the Salon Bleu by demanding that Minister Jolin-Barrette meet the victims, as they had requested. “By reading the article in Devoir, most certainly, this morning, my staff is already in the process of contacting Ms. Lemieux, Ms. Arsenault,” replied M .Jolin-Barrette. He then committed to meeting the victims. To his left, the Prime Minister, François Legault, nodded while listening to the minister.

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Mr. Jolin-Barrette recalled that his reform had put an end to life annuities [lifetime compensation] in favor of temporary aid, which affects more victims. “[The life annuity] meant that we could not compensate many people. We have chosen to increase the number of victims who can benefit from IVAC,” he explained.

Discretionary power ?

Facing him, Ms. Labrie asked Mr. Jolin-Barrette to do more than “explain [to the victims] a state of affairs that they already know.” She demanded “solutions”, “flexibility”, and recalled that she had proposed to the minister to give himself discretionary power, to extend the duration of certain compensation, for example. “Is the minister open to adding flexibility to his bill ?” she asked, visibly referring to his reform.

In response, Simon Jolin-Barrette said he was “open to looking at all the different solutions available to us”. However, he expressed reservations about discretionary power, arguing that it “is not necessarily always appropriate.”

In an exchange with Le Devoir, the Minister of Justice then said he intended to “study the question” and the “different issues” raised by the victims. “Most certainly, we are very sensitive to the situation experienced,” he said. When Le Devoirasked him if he intended to change his law, he said “no” as he rushed into his office.

Already, on February 8, the three opposition parties had pressed Minister Jolin-Barrette to review his reform. On Thursday, Liberal MP Jennifer Maccarone proposed returning to work in a cross-partisan manner. “We are ready tomorrow morning to come back to continue the work, to continue investigating,” she said. “It’s clear, these are people who are abandoned. We have a continuation of our work to do here, in the Assembly, and we should do this work in a transpartisan way, as we have done in the past. »

MP Pascal Paradis, of the Parti Québécois, for his part declared that the government had wanted to modify a plan which provided for the long-term payment of small amounts to grant more substantial financial assistance to victims. That said, “a government that listens, a government that really wants the best public policies, it must look at the effect of public policies,” he added. “What I mean is I recognize that there was some of the intentions that were good. Today, we arrive at a pivotal moment, and we realize that it may have effects contrary to those we had envisaged. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116